Mental health in Peru: why is it so important?

Mental health is a topic within medicine that is slowly beginning to be taken into account. Although we may not keep it in mind, neuropsychiatric diseases represent the longest healthy life lost. Over the years there have been more cases of depression, alcoholism, anxiety, schizophrenia, and other mental disorders. In addition, the increase in cases of sexual and family violence has encouraged behavior disorders from an early age and post-traumatic stress, especially in rape victims.

Luckily, in Peru, we have a National Plan for strengthening Community Mental Health Services, so this year three new mental health centers have been opened in the south of the country and one in Barranco. The Minister of Health, Elizabeth Hinostroza Pereyra, commented at the inauguration of the Lima center that priority is being given to the prevention, recovery and mental rehabilitation of victims of violence that occur in the family.

These health centers have a multidisciplinary team to meet all the needs of vulnerable communities. Psychiatrists, surgeons, psychologists, nurses, therapists and other experts who support the rehabilitation of patients work there. All care is free and covered by the Comprehensive Health Service (SIS).

The health centers located in the south, have their headquarters in Tacna, in the districts of Ciudad Nueva and the Centro Poblado Augusto B. Leguía; and in Moquegua, in the district of Omate, where it is expected to serve more than 3 thousand inhabitants whose remoteness hinders their access to social services. In the case of the mental health center located in the district of Barranco, in Lima, it is expected to serve at least 20 thousand people, including the citizens of neighboring districts Chorrillos and Santiago de Surco.

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